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NutShellBill
Dec 4, 2004
I AM SPUTNIK'S PARACHUTE ACCOUNT

Hi.

I'm NutShellBill. You might know me for flaking out on a number of my own L5R games after crumbling under the weight of my own personal life. I'd like to think they were mostly pretty good though, while they lasted.

Troy McClure intro aside, I'd like to introduce Trad Games to a release that really seems to have fallen under the radar: Legend of the Five Rings: 4th Edition.

It's made by a little company called AEG, and the brand just celebrated 15 years of fanatical fans pretending to be magical samurai.

For those unfamiliar, L5R takes place in the fictional empire of Rokugan. Imagine feudal Japan, on a map of mainland China; toss in a mass of deadites who constantly assault a country who has spent 1100 years fighting amongst its various clans while serving an Emperor... and you've got enough to either be interested, or run away screaming.

L5R is my favourite game, though. Just be aware that I may be biased.

What's new?

Well, the system is still the roll and keep system we all know and maybe love, and it still has the same merits and flaws. In truth the change from L5R 3rd to 4th reminds me of the switch from D & D 3.0 to 3.5; in that they took a long hard look at the more broken parts of the game, and made rule adjustments to make it more balanced and fun. Third edition suffered a bit from instances where one character could make the rest of the party redundant. (Mirumoto Bushi, I'm looking at you.)

Fourth edition makes characters more survivable, by making characters slightly harder to hit, making them effective for longer, but also reducing the power of the techniques for each family.

Part of the reasoning for fourth edition is also to provide a timeline free basis to run a campaign. That is to say, that you don't have to follow the main story, or really know anything about the game to know how to play; but it can be a boon if you want it to be.

Ok, but what's actually NEW?

Everything, and nothing.

Well, there ARE rule changes all over the drat place. It really is a whole new edition, and not a cash grab. Unless of course, you feel there was nothing wrong with third, in which case it might be.

Dueling has changed, as have almost all of the techniques, spells, and emphases. Veterans will still be able to make dominant fighters, shugenja and monks, but the invincible juggernaut isn't as easy to make as it once was. The argument could be made though, that these changes are mostly the result of using their audience to play test instead of doing it themselves, which rankles a bit.

The new book itself is 340+ pages of aesthetic samurai goodness, with art ranging from copying and pasting CCG art into spaces that needed filling, to 2 page spreads meant to showcase just how much effort and detail can go into the game. If you liked 3rd's L5R art, you'll love 4th's.

The appendix, map and general layout of the book is much improved, it's far better organized than 3rd edition in every way. However, the big book of Rokugani names (which was helpful) and the heritage table rolls are gone, making me something of a sad panda. Heritage rolls were so amazingly detailed in second and really represented the idea that your actions have reprecussions not just for you, but for future generations. Die a hero, and your family benefits. Live a scoundrel, and your kin will know your shame. Suffice it to say, I loved that mechanic, and it seems to have been eschewed.

New mechanics include stances, which are simply an extension of the attack, full attack, full defense mechanic.

A round consists of simple action and complex actions now, with extra attacks being an increase in speed, which is nice both in flavour and in game mechanics. Extra attacks are harder to come by now, with the Mirumoto being the only school that can naturally get 3 attacks per round.

The Spider clan has been fleshed out more, and is especially vicious; reminding me of the 3rd ed. suppliments where they were included. Oni and supernatural threats have returned to being something to be ver, very afraid of. While characters are more hardy and harder to hit, oni generally are invulnerable to anything that isn't magical or jade; as it should be.

Going over all of the new mechanics would probably double the length of this post. In short, the game's been fixed. Until gamers and suppliments break it again.

Should I buy it?

If you're an L5R fan, I'd recommend the core book without hesitation. It's a touch expensive, but it's huge, informative, and everything 3rd edition should have been.

If you're a casual fan, I can only give a middling recommendation. Third edition starting characters were infamous for being ineffective, or one trick ponies, and fourth does nothing to change this, and in fact makes things worse, in some ways. It's the best edition yet, but there's nothing wrong with third that makes it unplayable... it's just more powergamer friendly.

If you're new to the game, I can give it a fairly strong recommendation as a jumping in point. AEG has made a fairly strong effort to bring in new players, and fourth ed. is no exception. The L5R world is a rich tapestry of hundreds of stories, some good, some bad, and most middling. This makes for a storyline with potentially 1100 years of history; which is intimidating as hell for new players. The system is still as lethal as swordplay should be, and samurai are rather expected to die for their lord... Western thinking can get you into a lot of trouble.

I'll be happy to answer questions folks have about the game, so feel free!

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Mystic Mongol
Jan 5, 2007

Mitchell spread hands and smile alike. "Your life's been thrown in disarray already--I wouldn't want you to feel pressured."




College Slice

To me, at least, a big part of the L5R appeal was how unforgivingly deadly combat was. Especially at the lower ranks, a spearman with a sharpened bamboo pole could land a lucky blow and drop an overconfident samurai, nevermind all these demons and trained soldiers hanging about the place.

quote:

Fourth edition makes characters more survivable, by making characters slightly harder to hit, making them effective for longer, but also reducing the power of the techniques for each family.

So this statement makes me a little leery. Is the penalty for being brash still a quick death, or has L5R's combat system drifted in the direction of more traditional fantasy role playing games?

atelier morgan
Mar 11, 2003

super-scientific, ultra-gay



Lipstick Apathy

There is a sidebar where it provides a number of methods for determining wound points based on how tough you want people to be.

The book defaults to the most deadly of those methods.

The real change that makes things more survivable is a mechanic where having all your wound boxes filled drops you incapacitated and then it requires taking damage in a second instance (even if it is 1 point) to die, so PCs will not be instakilled by a single lucky blow from an ogre.

Nutshellbill.

DiscipleoftheClaw
Mar 13, 2005

Plus I gotta keep enough lettuce to support your shoe fetish.


UberJew posted:

There is a sidebar where it provides a number of methods for determining wound points based on how tough you want people to be.

The book defaults to the most deadly of those methods.

Well the most deadly other than the one shot, one kill kind of thing they have.

Also NSB baby come back.

ultraspice
Oct 1, 2010

hey lord byron what up?
nothin' dawg just doing shots from this skull

How are the Spider clan handled mechanically (school techniques, etc.)? Are they the same as the Daigotsu bushi and courtiers and Chuda shugenja?

I have a soft spot for those Shadowlands bastards.

FirstCongoWar
Aug 21, 2002

It feels so 80's or early 90's to be political.


I'd recommend 4th edition over 3rd edition to new people if only because it is setting agnostic. You don't have to do any ignoring or extrapolating of setting details to run anything you want, which is really nice.

NutShellBill
Dec 4, 2004
I AM SPUTNIK'S PARACHUTE ACCOUNT

Mystic Mongol posted:

To me, at least, a big part of the L5R appeal was how unforgivingly deadly combat was. Especially at the lower ranks, a spearman with a sharpened bamboo pole could land a lucky blow and drop an overconfident samurai, nevermind all these demons and trained soldiers hanging about the place.


So this statement makes me a little leery. Is the penalty for being brash still a quick death, or has L5R's combat system drifted in the direction of more traditional fantasy role playing games?

Essentially the wound penalty system was flipped upside down. Third and fourth edition still use the standard L5R levels of wounding, but whereas third edition dumped your biggest wound box at the end to keep your from dying, fourth edition has it at the beginning of your health.


HP Earth 2 character in 3rd:

Fresh: 4
Nicked: 4
etc: 4
Out (Last box before dead): 10

HP Earth 2 character in 4th:

Fresh: 10
Nicked: 4
etc: 4
Out: 4 (Last box before dead)

What this does is keep combat ultra lethal, but ensures that if you don't get the first blow in, you aren't necessarily completely screwed on the counter-attack. That being said, the roll and keep system still has exploding 10s; so occasionally a peasant with a stick rolling 4k2 to hit, and 4k2 for damage is going to wreck your poo poo.

NutShellBill
Dec 4, 2004
I AM SPUTNIK'S PARACHUTE ACCOUNT

ultraspice posted:

How are the Spider clan handled mechanically (school techniques, etc.)? Are they the same as the Daigotsu bushi and courtiers and Chuda shugenja?

I have a soft spot for those Shadowlands bastards.

As do I. I started as a Horde player, but was itnrigued with the organized subtlety of the Spider, and was happy when the idea stuck.

If you bought in 3rd edition til the end, they came out with mechanics for playing as Spider, but with the taint still having "kill on sight" status, it made incorporating them very difficult. This is improved somewhat in fourth, as you don't need to be tainted to be a Spider; it just helps.

Fourth edition has an ambiguous timeline, and the Spider are very much a new idea, but the core book does have four very playable packages to fool around with.

Daigotsu Bushi are brutally good; and definitely the least subtle. They're murder machines on par with what 3rd edition could dole out. Also the least likely to be able to control manifestations of the taint.

Daigotsu Courtiers... I haven't really done my homework on this one, but it seems to be a school for deceit and subterfuge, and possibly infiltration. They specialize in honeyed words to scout out potential recruits, and ruining rivals in court. IIRC, their school doesn't require the taint, so they make good counter-agents, who CAN become better with the taint. It'd be easy to pretend to be a callous Scorpion, playing one of these.

Chuda Shugenja are improved by the simple fact that maho is so much better in fourth. They can't stealth cast very well, but they can hide the fact that it's maho, which is important. Obviously, playing one of these to its full potential is improbable without being tainted, but it could be done. They get maho as an affinity, and can choose their deficiency, leading to some twinkery when you choose those Void spells you couldn't cast anyway.

The Order of Venom are a 5 technique monk class that is very good without the taint, and a murder/death/kill school with it. They have access to kiho, albeit at a higher cost, gain natural damage reduction that's hard to bypass, extra attacks, a smartly constructed starting package, and absolutely WILL brutalize you in combat. Plus, the natural masked sohei disguise is the standard costume for militant monks in Rokugan, so not only can they hide their identity, but any disfigurements from the taint, while maintaining a low-key, bland profile.

The Goju ninja school hasn't been added yet, and it might be for the best. The mechanic of Nothing makes for great NPCs, but I never like to tell a PC that they no longer have control of their actions, which is kind of the way that goes.

ultraspice
Oct 1, 2010

hey lord byron what up?
nothin' dawg just doing shots from this skull

Sweet, thanks for that rundown. I'm glad playing a Spider doesn't mean you're walking around carrying a sign that says "VESSEL OF EVIL - PLEASE SLAY" anymore.

What kind of changes did they make to the mass combat rules?

EndOfTheWorld
Jul 22, 2004

I'm an excellent critic! I automatically know when someone's done a bad job. Before you ask, yes it's a mixed blessing.

Cybernetic Crumb

Well thanks for this, fourth edition of L5R flew completely under my radar. May have to pick this up the next time I get a little mad money.

Also, come back soon, NutShellBill. I still have fond memories of being molested by rat monsters.

wargames
Mar 16, 2008

official yospos cat censor


My question is when will someone run a Maptools L5R game?

spacebard
Jan 1, 2007

Football~


I've been working on this (more) for a couple of months now, but going is slow because rpscript makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes.

It's coming along though.

I haven't been able to play much 4th edition yet. Has the flow of combat and skill checks improved at all? It seems pretty complicated with a steep learning curve for new players. Skills, notably Courtier or Etiquette, seem to change their traits around and modifiers aren't really easily noted/learned. But it could just be how I'm reading it. Calculating TN to be hit and remembering stances has always been annoying too.

wargames
Mar 16, 2008

official yospos cat censor


I just picked up 4th and it seems that it work just like 3rd for 98% of the stuff. TntbH still works the same ((Reflexes*5)+5+miscbonus). But stances seem to work differantly.

Edit:

How are you dealing with dice other than 10 exploding in your framework?

wargames fucked around with this message at 17:27 on Oct 21, 2010

wargames
Mar 16, 2008

official yospos cat censor


Has anyone gotten their hands on the newest book Enemies of the Empire?

NutShellBill
Dec 4, 2004
I AM SPUTNIK'S PARACHUTE ACCOUNT

wargames posted:

Has anyone gotten their hands on the newest book Enemies of the Empire?

Yep! It's of the same quality of the core book, but I can only give it a middling recommendation. There's nothing in it, that wasn't in third... It's mostly a monster manual with vivid descriptions and the like.

Which isn't to say it's bad. I actually know the guy who wrote the chapter about Nothing, and he does good work. We do the same joke every time it comes up, and pretend it's still funny, even though it was never funny. (Chapter about nothing, lawl.) It's just frustrating because it adds very little playable stuff, they didn't even throw us a bone and make Goju a playable school, so much as some weakly defined shadow powers. Makes infiltration easier if people look at your character sheet and see "Doji" instead of "horrible mindless spawn that wants to unmake the world, and by wants, we mean has no mind of its own". Doji sounds better.

It's very much like Creatures of Rokugan in 3rd edition. If you have that book, the only reason to buy this one is to see how amazingly strong oni are now that they almost all have invulnerability back.

spacebard
Jan 1, 2007

Football~


Weird. The Table of Contents makes it look like there are a lot of new spells and powers listed. It'll probably be worth it since I only have 1e and 2e books besides 4e.


Re: framework. At the moment, I'm not working on a maptool framework. It's a rpgame file for chartool. It's almost done now. I'd like to add printing support too at some point. And maybe combat management or integration with inittool.

I wrote an exploding Roll & Keep macro for maptool. Well, I've written them again and again because I keep losing them (I found the last one I made recently). I think, like the last time, having a basic one that explodes on 10s but lists everything out is good enough for me. I did add in 10 dice limits to the latest macro though.

Macro: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=F0ULGIVM

AndItsAllGone
Oct 8, 2003



I haven't played L5R in about 10 years, so when I saw the new edition I picked it up along with Enemies of the Empire. I really like the way the books are set up and would recommend them to a beginner, having never played or seen the 3rd edition books myself.

I like the "era neutral" setting, but I do wish there was some more detail on Rokugan's history. I'm familiar with the Coup and the Clan War era, but over the past decade a lot of my knowledge has slipped away from me. Are there any decent resources for that sort of thing? I use the L5R Wiki sometimes but it feels really incomplete.

wargames
Mar 16, 2008

official yospos cat censor


This is the maptools macro I use, also if you want to know what happened in l5r get a group of l5r dudes and play in a modern setting.

code:
[h:dicelist = "0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0"]
[for(i, 0, numtoroll, 1, "<br />"), CODE:
{
[r:i+1] roll: (
[h:myroll = eval("1d10")]
[h:tmproll = myroll]
[r:tmproll]
[while(tmproll > 9, ""), CODE:
{
[h:tmproll = eval("1d10")]
[h:myroll = myroll + tmproll]
, [r:tmproll]
}]
[h:dicelist = listReplace(dicelist, i, myroll)]
)
}]

<br />

[h:sorted = listSort(dicelist, 'N-')]
[h:sum = 0]
keep: [for(i, 0, numtokeep, 1, ","), CODE: {
[h:sum = sum + listGet(sorted, i)]
[h:tmp = listGet(sorted, i)]
[r:tmp]
}]

<br \>total: <b>[r:sum]</b> 

electrigger
Dec 18, 2005

so gay and you don't even like boys


AndItsAllGone posted:

I haven't played L5R in about 10 years, so when I saw the new edition I picked it up along with Enemies of the Empire. I really like the way the books are set up and would recommend them to a beginner, having never played or seen the 3rd edition books myself.

I like the "era neutral" setting, but I do wish there was some more detail on Rokugan's history. I'm familiar with the Coup and the Clan War era, but over the past decade a lot of my knowledge has slipped away from me. Are there any decent resources for that sort of thing? I use the L5R Wiki sometimes but it feels really incomplete.

Post clan war in a nutshell.

A devious former Hantei comes back from the realm of death and declares Toturi a usurping false emperor. Fellow back from the dead Rokugani and some current Rokugani agree. They have a big war between the loyalists and the traditionalists.

Hantei XVI gets defeated but Toturi keeps him around. Toturi dies eventually and his 4 decendants vie for the throne and have various factions and clans supporting them. Toturi's devious Hantei trained son ends up on top. His bastard child he had with the geisha becomes shogun.

Unicorns get antsy, and the Khan decides he wants his booty on the throne now. Unicorns and Lion push in each other's poo poo for a while. Unicorns get whipped tail between their legs after initial successes. Toturi III dies.

Heavens come down and say. "Ya'll loving poo poo up." Jade and obsidian dragons kick Yakamo and Hitomi out of the Sun and Moon offices. Big tournament is held to determine a new Imperial line. A dragon broad ascends to the throne and starts the new dynasty.

I'm not really the best authority but thats the gist of it I believe. Surely there's some better L5Rologists that can do better.

Also there's like, lying darkness stuff, something about the descendant of Shinsei trying to challenge the clans to pursue enlightenment, I think Iuchiban comes back at some point and is defeated (again). And Daigotsu burns down Otosan Uchi, Toshi Ranbo is the new capital donated by the Crane, and Daigotsu starts the spider clan to see if he can gently caress the empire while playing by their rules, kinda.

electrigger fucked around with this message at 03:03 on Oct 30, 2010

AndItsAllGone
Oct 8, 2003



Yeah, all the stuff about the Spider Clan is completely new to me--I read the L5R wiki article but it wasn't all that helpful. Is the Spider Clan considered part of Rokugani society, or are they treated as enemies by the Great Clans?

It makes me sad to see Yakamo's fate. His story arc during the Clan Wars was my favorite.

Huitzil
May 25, 2010

by elpintogrande


AndItsAllGone posted:

Yeah, all the stuff about the Spider Clan is completely new to me--I read the L5R wiki article but it wasn't all that helpful. Is the Spider Clan considered part of Rokugani society, or are they treated as enemies by the Great Clans?

The Spider Clan are not a recognized Great Clan. They're basically the intelligent human parts of the Shadowlands Horde, organized and run by Daigotsu as if they were an actual Clan, they are trying to work within the Rokugani system to bring it down this time. For a while, they passed themselves off as a legitimate organization (still not a Clan, they just called themselves that), gaining a reputation as heroes for swooping in and saving defenseless villages from marauding bandits (that they actually hired), or being able to get people in court all kinds of things they need, only in return for small favors that they probably won't call in anyway. Then a new Empress got crowned, and she realized what they were and what they were up to because she is like all-knowing or whatever, and she put the kibosh on it.

People in general know that the Spider Clan existed, and I THINK but I'm not sure that they know it's illegal to brand yourself a member of that organization. But almost nobody knows why, or who the Spider Clan really is, because they suckered a lot of people with their ploy at being a legitimate organization before the new Empress found out, and half of Rokugan's leaders would probably have to commit seppuku if it got out how bad they were fooled. The Spider Clan still operates and refers to itself internally as the Spider, but they don't call themselves that in public any more. The Empress, even though she found out about their plans to undermine and destroy the Empire, hasn't actually been that zealous about rooting out and destroying them; in fact, her Imperial Advisor is from the Daigotsu family. Rumor has it that by the end of the current arc, the Spider will somehow become a legit clan.

The actual reason for the change because the Shadowlands Horde faction in the card game had a bunch of special rules interactions or exceptions just for it, and that wouldn't do when they looked to simplify the rules from the Lotus-era clusterfuck. So the Spider Clan is basically "the Shadowlands faction that works under the same rules as all the other playable factions".

I haven't checked up on the story in the past couple months, so maybe something changed recently, but that is the jist of it.

Huitzil
May 25, 2010

by elpintogrande


So, did anyone here enter that "Imperial Histories" contest they had on the AEG forum? They're doing a book about alternate eras to set the game in, like Time of the Void, Dawn of the Empire, White Stag era, and notably the alternate-universe Thousand Years of Darkness and Heroes of Rokugan (the RPG league) settings, as well as one setting made/detailed by a fan, drawn from this contest.

I would have posted about it in this thread, but I only found out about the contest a day and a half before it ended. Supposedly they got 71 different proposals to choose from, I don't think my samurai post-apocalypse is going to win. But I'm interested to hear if anyone else entered!

wargames
Mar 16, 2008

official yospos cat censor


I didn't enter but If the next book is about alternate time limes I do hope they add in more pre-made adventures.

NutShellBill
Dec 4, 2004
I AM SPUTNIK'S PARACHUTE ACCOUNT

I'm helping to playtest the next fourth edition book tonight, and I'm kinda excited. I'm under an NDA, so I can't say too much, but it looks like the next book is going to be the "and now, we add more playable options" book.

wargames
Mar 16, 2008

official yospos cat censor


Its Great Clans isn't it?

Gassire
Dec 30, 2004

"They're people. Deeply flawed, yes, but deeply human too. And maybe that's saying the same thing."

In all honesty I got kind of tired of the L5R rules system and gave up using it. I've been using Houses of the Blooded lately and it flows much better. It's by Wick as well and feels like it takes the best of L5R and 7th Sea and refined them.

Huitzil
May 25, 2010

by elpintogrande


Gassire posted:

In all honesty I got kind of tired of the L5R rules system and gave up using it. I've been using Houses of the Blooded lately and it flows much better. It's by Wick as well and feels like it takes the best of L5R and 7th Sea and refined them.

Is John Wick supposed to be a selling point?

spacebard
Jan 1, 2007

Football~


So I just ran a one shot with all Dragons to give players a taste of L5R. It went fairly smoothly with new players. They still had a little difficulty with Roll & Keep, and surprisingly stances were used effectively (Mirumoto ) and I found it easy to keep track of them. I had everyone's stance and TN written down besides initiative.

I really underestimated the Minor Binding spell

I'd be up for running a maptool game of it some time.

Gassire posted:

In all honesty I got kind of tired of the L5R rules system and gave up using it. I've been using Houses of the Blooded lately and it flows much better. It's by Wick as well and feels like it takes the best of L5R and 7th Sea and refined them.

What in particular is better?

wargames
Mar 16, 2008

official yospos cat censor


spacebard posted:

I'd be up for running a maptool game of it some time.

I would be up for playing a maptool's game something.

Gassire
Dec 30, 2004

"They're people. Deeply flawed, yes, but deeply human too. And maybe that's saying the same thing."

spacebard posted:

What in particular is better?

It makes telling the story a much more collaborative effort between DM and player. How the system works is that the tn to beat is always 10 no matter what the action. When you're about to roll if you have more dice than you think you need you can just not roll any extras. Any dice not rolled are called 'wagers'. Every wager lets you describe a one sentence action or detail in the scene whether it happens to your character or not. The only restriction is that it can't contradict any other wager.

It really speeds up the game while at the same time drawing players more into the action.

Swags
Dec 9, 2006


So you buy this fancy dancy new 4th edition L5R book. It changes everything and nothing.

Is all of your 3rd edition L5R stuff now useless?

wargames
Mar 16, 2008

official yospos cat censor


Swags posted:

Is all of your 3rd edition L5R stuff now useless?

Only the schools, kata, kiho, spell, advantage/disadvantage side of things will be useless. The back ground story stuff and fluff is still good, much like 1ed stuff.

NutShellBill
Dec 4, 2004
I AM SPUTNIK'S PARACHUTE ACCOUNT

Swags posted:

So you buy this fancy dancy new 4th edition L5R book. It changes everything and nothing.

Is all of your 3rd edition L5R stuff now useless?

Third Edition is actually vastly superior for time-specific information and NPCs. If you were really into the game during any time from Diamond to Lotus, it might have more information to play around with at the moment.

I prefer fourth, myself.

BillyRubin
Dec 16, 2005
"Oh, and Senator, just one more thing."

I'm intending to run a one-shot in this system on Friday, and I have a couple questions for those of you who may perhaps have perused the book more thoroughly than I.

One of my players is interested in playing a character that dual-wields Daggers. Unfortunately, it seems to make him weak as poo poo even in comparison to someone wielding a Wakizashi and a Dagger. Is there anything in the rules that might help balance that?

Oh, and the Battle Skill: What's up with that? In 3rd edition it had all sorts of different uses, but in 4th Ed. it seems to only be mentioned in Mass Battle. However, it still has a Skirmish emphasis under the skill itself. Is there any purpose to Battle besides the Mass Battle system?

spacebard
Jan 1, 2007

Football~


BillyRubin posted:

One of my players is interested in playing a character that dual-wields Daggers. Unfortunately, it seems to make him weak as poo poo even in comparison to someone wielding a Wakizashi and a Dagger. Is there anything in the rules that might help balance that?

The benefit of dual-wielding knives is that you don't get an off-hand penalties at Knives Rank 3 (if you don't have a technique that does this). Sai/Jitte are even better with Knives Rank 5 because of the free raise to Disarm. They're not supposed to do as much raw damage on purpose. The Armor TN bonus is pretty weak too unless you're Mirumoto.

BillyRubin posted:

Oh, and the Battle Skill: What's up with that? In 3rd edition it had all sorts of different uses, but in 4th Ed. it seems to only be mentioned in Mass Battle. However, it still has a Skirmish emphasis under the skill itself. Is there any purpose to Battle besides the Mass Battle system?

As far as I can tell it only has that one Mastery bonus. Your guess is as good as mine as to why it's been made so useless.

NutShellBill
Dec 4, 2004
I AM SPUTNIK'S PARACHUTE ACCOUNT

BillyRubin posted:

I'm intending to run a one-shot in this system on Friday, and I have a couple questions for those of you who may perhaps have perused the book more thoroughly than I.

One of my players is interested in playing a character that dual-wields Daggers. Unfortunately, it seems to make him weak as poo poo even in comparison to someone wielding a Wakizashi and a Dagger. Is there anything in the rules that might help balance that?

Oh, and the Battle Skill: What's up with that? In 3rd edition it had all sorts of different uses, but in 4th Ed. it seems to only be mentioned in Mass Battle. However, it still has a Skirmish emphasis under the skill itself. Is there any purpose to Battle besides the Mass Battle system?

Re: Daggers vs. Katana

There's rarely a reason to prefer daggers to two handed swords, especially in L5R, where if you pull your sword, you're generally not apt to put it away til something is dead.

The "Knives" category in L5R DOES include Sai and Jitte though, the latter of which grants free raises to disarm attacks.

All things told though, the best melee non-magical weapon in the game, bar none is the no dachi. There's rarely a reason to pick anything else. It's got 8 foot reach, gets all the kenjutsu bonuses, and does ridonkulous damage.

Edit: Knives ARE much more easily concealed, than nerdgasm 8 foot katana. As such, you can all sorts of fun mixtures to the blades, that samurai would never think twice about. There are also spells for concealing weapons around that size. So, I guess what I'm saying is that the dagger is the weapon of choice for an honourless dog. Or a magistrate who isn't that good at fighting. You might want to convince them away from dual-wielding though. Only the Miromoto are any good at it, and knives are low damage weapons.

RE: Battle
Battle can still be used for all of it's practical applications. Planning, martialing troops, mass battle, and skirmishes still all fall under Battle.

NutShellBill fucked around with this message at 10:07 on Jan 2, 2011

LGD
Sep 25, 2004




Knives are loving terrible in L5R and pretty much always have been. It's one of my biggest peeves with how it handles weapons (katana-wielding mass infantry formations and the complete de-emphasis of the spear is the other). Kept dice are generally much more important than rolled and even the +1k0 a knife gives you over simply punching a dude will be negated if you ever get to 3 points of weapon skill. There is simply no reason to take knives- Jiujutsu has much higher damage potential (via Mastery and the Hands of Stone advantage), access to helpful combat options knives don't give you (grapples and improvised weapons), and is even more concealable than a knife would be. Pretty much the only reason to bother taking the Knife skill is if you have a school that gives you good bonuses (either at least +0k1 or using Kama), are really excited about a free raise to disarming attacks, want a blade for poison application, or really care about the ability to make short ranged throwing attacks. In other words, Mantis Bushi using Kama and a vanishingly small percentage of other PCs.

leebenningfield
Dec 10, 2004

This is Leviathan? This is your fucking guy?

spacebard posted:

So I just ran a one shot with all Dragons to give players a taste of L5R.

My friends and I recently started a 4th ed campaign. By coincidence, 3 of the 5 of us are Dragons. There's a Mirumoto, a Tamori (though he's using the Togashi name) and I'm playing an Ise Zumi. This is my first time playing L5R, and I was sort of indifferent to the setting and lore, and I chose a tattooed monk becuase it seemed like my other options were "guy with sword" and "guy with spells" (I realize there's a lot more to it than that, but whatever). And the Shinsei monks didn't quite seem to fit my style either, though I took the Friend of the Brotherhood edge to leave my options open.

As an intro, the GM ran us through the Topaz Championship. The main focus quickly became the npc Kakita being schooled by our party's Mirumoto, who actually ended up winning the tournament. I actually did surprisingly well, tying the Kakita in the second round of the Iaijutsu match with my one "borrowed" rank of Iaijutsu from my lion tattoo, but he was ahead of me in points from the previous events and went on to the final to be humiliated.

Starting next session, we'll be going on assignment to Ryoko Owari, which from what I gather is a wretched hive of scum and villainy, so it should be interesting. I'm definitely looking forward to playing more.

LogicNinja
Jan 21, 2011

...the blur blurs blurringly across the blurred blur in a blur of blurring blurriness that blurred...


You know what I wish?

I wish the guys who did L5R 4E would redo 7th Sea.

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TheAnomaly
Feb 20, 2003


LogicNinja posted:

You know what I wish?

I wish the guys who did L5R 4E would redo 7th Sea.

No kidding. The only way to even get the old books is to go to a con where they've decided to do another limited run (and it's AEG, by the way).

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